UK institution the Post Office recently announced its branches handled
a record £3.1 billion in cash deposits and withdrawals in December 2021, which is a 25% increase on last year’s number. The news is hardly surprising given
almost 5,000 bank branches have closed in the UK since 2015. Many customers have been left looking for alternatives for in-person banking and the Post Office has certainly filled the gap for those who don’t want to, or aren’t able to, use digital banking
High street banks are increasingly turning to digital to speed up delivery of new products and services, remain current and drive innovation. Digital is great: it’s cheaper, and there’s no denying the industry is heading that way. However, banks must ensure
they don’t leave behind less tech-savvy customers – after all, they can’t afford to lose them.
Not every customer is comfortable with a ‘digital only’ experience, as shown by the Post Office’s popularity in carrying out banking functions – a case in point for the continuing consumer appetite for in-person services. As such, as more high street banks
shift their focus towards digital services, it’s important that they don’t remove all physical touchpoints for customers.
Each customer needs an individualised approach, so banks must ensure they’re offering different options. Where in-person branches do have to close, banks should look at ways to make digital as non-threatening as possible – such as offering additional support
to less tech-savvy customers – and ensure there is always an alternate option so all customers’ needs are met.
Aiming to be ‘digital first’, rather than ‘digital only’ is a great option for banks. It enables them to deliver new, innovative services to customers at speed, while also catering to customers who are not quite digital-natives. At the end of the day, successful
customer communication delivers the right information, at the right time and through the right channel. Banks that are able to do this effectively and not neglect in-person services stand to score highest in customer satisfaction.